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A 'Blank Canvas' House By The Beach

Architecture

For most creatives, there is often nothing more terrifying than an open brief with few restrictions. Where do you start? How do you create something out of nothing? And what do you prioritise? Such was the case in this project Planned Living Architects, who were engaged by a young couple to design a home in the Victorian beach town of Blairgowrie that could accommodate their current needs, as well as function as a sprawling family beach house in the future.

The result is a robust and refined home of timber and concrete, integrating spectacular Australian flora (by ACRE Landscape Architects), that will weather handsomely in its natural surrounds over time!

8th October, 2018

‘Blairgowrie House’ by Planned Living Architects with ACRE Landscape Architects and Studio Tom. – Derek Swalwell.

The brief was to create a beachside family home with the flexibility to function as a multigenerational family beach house in the future. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

Garden details by ACRE Landscape Architects. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

The concrete and timber materials provided a perfect backdrop for the landscaping by ACRE Landscape Architects. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

A strong connection with nature was essential to the design. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

The stunning backdrop of Australian native plantings by ACRE Landscape Architects. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

Photo – Derek Swalwell.

Photo – Derek Swalwell.

Photo – Derek Swalwell.

Spectacular shuttered doors allow the home to be completely opened up to the surrounding garden. – Derek Swalwell.

Photo – Derek Swalwell.

Photo – Derek Swalwell.

Photo – Derek Swalwell.

Photo – Derek Swalwell.

Photo – Derek Swalwell.

Photo – Derek Swalwell.

Photo – Derek Swalwell.

Photo – Derek Swalwell.

Photo – Derek Swalwell.

Photo – Derek Swalwell.

Photo – Derek Swalwell.

Photo – Derek Swalwell.

Photo – Derek Swalwell.

Photo – Derek Swalwell.

Photo – Derek Swalwell.

Photo – Derek Swalwell.

Sally Tabart
Monday 8th October 2018

‘We basically were presented a blank canvas and along with it came a certain level of writer’s block!’ – Jay Earles, Director of Planned Living Architects.

With a young couple (who have since welcomed their first baby) as clients, Planned Living Architects were engaged to create a functional home that could evolve into a big family holiday house in the future.

While many have lamented the issues of building on steep or uneven sites, for Planned Living Architects, it was actually the flat topography of the land, not overly typical of its beachside location, that provided the initial design challenge. ‘We basically were presented a ‘blank canvas’ and along with it came a certain level of “writer’s block!”’, tells Jay Earles, Director of Planned Living Architects.

Without site-specific guidelines providing a jumping point for design concepts, Jay and the Planned Living Architects team were forced to go ‘back to basics’. This free rein allowed the architects the opportunity to consider how they wanted to ‘approach the house, enter the house…and how to best maximise opportunities for sunlight in key spaces,’ without restriction.

Designed with flexibility in mind, this new build allows for the owners to occupy the main areas of the home, with a separate second wing providing ample space for family growth. A strong connection to the outdoors is essential to the enjoyment of the home, orientated towards the north-facing backyard with spectacular glass frontage looking out towards to an entertaining area, lush garden and pool, expertly designed by ACRE Landscape Architects.

Before building, bushfire overlays of the planning scheme required for the majority of the vegetation to be removed. Working closely Planned Living Architecture and interior architects Studio Tom, ACRE Landscape Architects reinstated the indigenous flora to the home.’ This modern beach house is the outcome from a passion for raw materials and hard architectural lines being softened by vibrant and eye-catching native plant palettes,’ explains Brett Robinson, Creative Director of ACRE, ‘the result shows that natives & coastal plants can be exciting and lush, whilst complementing an architecturally designed contemporary home.’

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The Design Files acknowledge the traditional custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files – we would love to hear from you.

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